lxbarth has commented on the following diary entries

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A Review of the Manifests of all OSM US Board Election Candidates over 1 year ago

Edits aren't required to serve on the OpenStreetMap US board. In fact some of the most valuable board members in OpenStreetMap US' past haven't edited much. The board isn't about editing OpenStreetMap, it's about supporting and growing OpenStreetMap in the US. It's about our ability to put on awesome conferences, to run solid communications, to raise money, to keep our books in order, and to facilitate local events.

As someone who's served for 3 years on the board and does quite a bit of editing, I welcome anyone to the board who's passionate about OpenStreetMap and is ready to put in real time. Great skills in organizing, communications, networking, fund raising and a passion for the project don't always go with mad mapping kills :)

Everyone is welcome. I'm personally thoroughly impressed with each person who I've been on the board with this past year and each new candidate running this year.

As jonwit pointed out, there's a townhall recording from last night to learn more about the candidates.


Data issues in Japan over 1 year ago

@SK53 - y, this needs to be translated, working on it.

Note that we've been in touch with the Japanese community from the get go on this project, with Taichi Furuhashi being extremely helpful - there's a Facebook coordination page and continued communication in Japanese:

San Francisco data imports, anyone? over 1 year ago

While the Mapbox drawn building outlines are a big improvement over those available from CCSF, they are not particularly well aligned to Bing. In general, I often need to move entire blocks 10 to 15 feet in order align them to the image reference we are generally expected to use.

Andrew - note that Bing imagery is not the authoritative image reference for OpenStreetMap as it can be off in bad cases by meters. In the San Francisco tracing effort we have used existing GPS data and the LIDAR derived SF public domain building dataset as location reference.

San Francisco data imports, anyone? over 1 year ago

I love this. The building dataset for SF in OSM is one of the best out there, it would be great to add building heights right into it.

Natural Atlas + OpenStreetMap over 1 year ago

You cannot forbid me to vectorize map data from your map.

The terms don't seem they're globally forbidding vectorizing the map, although it would be good to define what specific latitude/longitude coordinates are meant in the ToS.

If your users place the markers based on an OpenStreetMap-based map, these positions are covered by the share-alike of Open Database License.

This is not the case. Placing markers on top of an OSM based map doesn't per se make the marker locations subject to ODbL share alike. Only if you used those markers in a way that winds up extracting a Substantial subset of OpenStreetMap the marker data would be subject to ODbL share alike.

Did somebody delete Hyderabad, India? over 1 year ago

Nice find.

I added a rudimentary city node until the original one is recovered

Please report such issues to the data working group ( I just notified them of the issue.

How we apply map feedback almost 2 years ago

Hit send too early, continuing:

We'll also have to balance driving editors with the goal of knowing what's wrong on the map. We only have a seconds of a user's time to learn what's going on, so we're keeping this experience laser focused.

Since we flipped the form around and offer a fast submission first we've increased the number of reports we're seeing at least by 10 x. I'm seeing we lost the piwik link on the edit button so I can't report on users we drive (getting this one back in now).

Everybody's OpenStreetMap relevant knowledge going through map-feedback winds up on the map: either as a direct edit by the Mapbox team, as a note or by a direct edit by the user.

How we apply map feedback almost 2 years ago

Let there be no doubt that we want to grow a strong OSM community, and map-feedback has been one of our approaches to help do that.

Adding to this: a previous iteration of the map feedback page was flipped around: the first action was "contribute to OpenStreetMap", the second action was "let us know what's wrong". This didn't work as well as we wanted to. Only a minuscule amount of visitors wound up going to OpenStreetMap (we don't know whether they actually edited).

We'll continue to measure the impact of this page and iterate on it. Overall, driving editors to OpenStreetMap is the best thing for the project - we all agree on that.

_ almost 2 years ago

Alex from Mapbox data team here - thank you for the detailed write up! We typically verify incoming feedback against a second source - the bulk of it can be checked against Satellite imagery ("missing path" type of info) or like here with a municipal web site's information. Information we can't verify we place as notes.

I'll touch base with my colleague Andgol first thing tomorrow and get back to you with more details of what happened here.

Part of this could be done by strengthening the connections between volunteer mapping communities and commercial data teams.

Love btw how we can have conversations directly on the changeset now thanks to changeset comments. Together with notes this functionality really helps us interact with community outside of our team right now.

Rückblick auf die FOSSGIS 2015 in Münster und Ausblick auf die Zukunft der FOSSGIS almost 2 years ago

Danke für die Zusammenfassung!

Daher ist es an der Zeit, dass die OSM-Community im deutschsprachigen Raum sich veranstaltungstechnisch selbstständig macht und eine eigene Veranstaltung auf die Beine stellt.

Fänd ich gut. State of the Map Berlin 2016? :)

Hamlets in US cities almost 2 years ago

In my experience you'll find three types of place=hamlet nodes in the US. This is including some of what has already been said on this thread:

  1. place=hamlet that should be a place=suburb
  2. place=hamlet that should be a place=neighborhood
  3. place=hamlet for a trailer park
  4. place=hamlet for a housing project like Brooklyn's Bay View Houses
  5. The real place=hamlet

I suggest the following fixing strategy for all hamlets in populated areas:

  • Review against satellite imagery
  • If clearly a trailer park or a housing project, draw closed way around it, tag landuse=residential name=*
  • Else if built up urban area change place=hamlet tag to place=neighborhood
  • Else don't change.

This is the rule I've been personally following. How does this sound?

Fixing the rural US almost 2 years ago

I think it would be best if OSM carto would not to render objects anymore which are tagged with tiger:reviewed=no.

Interesting idea...

Fixing the rural US almost 2 years ago

One example I found just by zooming into Eric's Arnold rendering: here in WV there's a highway=residential which has moderate traffic flows and should really be a tertiary.

And y, we should be able to detect these types of issues w/ HPMS/ARNOLD.

Fixing the rural US almost 2 years ago

@RichardF - yup, thought about it... but: what we have of ARNOLD right now is pretty much what HPMS (attributes) is using of ARNOLD (geometry) - which isn't much. OSM or TIGER coverage is much much bigger than HPMS, and ARNOLD itself is not available for download, I think. Let me check on the latter, actually.

Fixing the rural US almost 2 years ago

Richard - thanks for posting.

Over here in the Mapbox team we've been mostly focused on fixing alignment problems via the micro tasking manager to-fix (background).

We're using updated TIGER data as a guide for editing, one weakness of the original TIGER data is the lack of classification granularity in the lower level road network - exactly the reason why we have this mess in OSM now. Just talked to Eric Fischer over here and we want to look into whether by surfacing the existing road classification in TIGER comparison layers better we can at least focus retagging efforts better by knowing where TIGER does / doesn't provide useful classification information.

I like the framework you're suggesting for retagging.

Some other useful tools for fixing TIGER:

Japan, why are you so beautiful? almost 2 years ago

When did you ship Eric off to North Korea? ;)

Haha, yeah, bad photoshopping :)

Now Live: Notes Posted By Scout Users about 2 years ago

This is awesome.

Website for asking to improve just one area in OpenStreetMap (or paying for improvement) about 2 years ago

I'd love to be able to put a bounty on notes I'd like to see addressed. Paying small bounties like this could be interesting to incentivize on the ground surveys where work can't be done remotely.

Why I'm running for OpenStreetMap US again about 2 years ago

Eric Fischer does all the magic!

The trouble with the ODbL - summarized about 2 years ago


Of the points listed above at least 2, 4, 5 and 6 are not specific to the ODBL (meaning they would apply for many other licenses likewise). Before you say PD would not have these issues remember that true PD does not exist in most jurisdictions.

2, 4, 5 are clearly issues of the ODbL. 6 is an exacerbating factor when having a high maintenance license. True, could be an issue for other (open) licenses too.

1 and 3 are issues of EU database law and not specific to the ODBL either. Short of giving away all data without limitations there is no solution for this. It seems to me the authors of the paper you cite are not really familiar with the legal basis of data and database rights in Europe.

This is a rather technical argument. Sure, some of the issues in the ODbL go back to the European Database directive.

You probably should point the National Park Service to NASA which apparently has no such issues.

NASA is placing OSM labels on top of their imagery which is a very straight forward use case even under the ODbL. NPS would like to maintain some of their data as part of OSM, which makes share alike a show stopper.

The case of Yale University seems to be based on the misconception that any license can force you to give away other data and force you to violate other obligations. The only thing the ODBL can do is forbid you to use OSM data under certain circumstances, it has no power to change your other legal or contractual obligations.

Exactly the point of the paper. The ODbL is so complex that we're losing people based on misconceptions. If you were a lawyer and magically gave away free, concise and fast legal advice every time such questions crop up, the penalty we're paying for the complexity of such a license would be smaller.

Generally citing people who do not use OSM data because of certain fears without analyzing if those fears are well-founded seems inappropriate and misleading. The key words in all your case examples are 'could', 'might', 'concerned', 'worried' etc. and the text makes no attempt to analyze the validity of these concerns.

See above. It doesn't matter whether the concerns are actually valid. It matters whether people have them and they do. Every week I hear of legal departments saying no to OpenStreetMap because of its license.

Frankly i am somewhat appalled by the fact that you do not acknowledge the LWG efforts with the community guidelines to shed light on unclear and difficult to understand aspects of the ODBL. If you really want to help data users to use OSM data and resolve their concerns you should support these efforts by helping to communicate them to potential data users.

I'm very grateful for the LWG's work and I agree with you which is why I am hoping to get to a clarification on geocoding



There is a saying in german whichg goes "wes Brot ich ess, des Lied ich sing" :)

We talked about this on Twitter . I don't want anyone to dismiss the points of the paper based on who I work for. Please go get in touch with every one of the captured case studies and make yourself a picture.



This paper definitely does not provides a comprehensive overview of issues. It provides only on side of the issues, reinforcing only one point of view.

It does not cover hundreds of use of OSM data where the ODbL license is not an issue at all.

The ODbL just doesn't have any issues except where it has issues ;-)


Open/free free projects rely on people contrubuting to them, which is one of the main goals of requiring attribution, share-alike etc. The US government does not need that.

This implies that share alike has a benefit for contributors which no-one has been able to explain to me.



I know these guidelines are not part of the licence, but as guidelines officially endorsed by OSMF, I would expect most jurisdictions to consider them as normative.

Fair. The paper itself uses more nuanced language, namely that the definition of what's Substantial by the OSMF guidelines is far off from what's case law so far.